Free Coronavirus antibody tests are to be made available on the NHS in the UK, Downing Street has announced.
The tests are to be made available on the NHS following an agreement between the government and Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche which has been making the tests. The antibody tests are believed to show whether someone has had COVID-19 and whether they have gained immunity from it.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has said;
“The tests will be free for people who need them, as you would expect.
“NHS and care workers will be prioritised for the tests.”
England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has previously warned that it could take up to 28 days after someone has tested positive for COVID-19 for the antibody tests to properly confirm if a person has had the virus.
It is not currently completely known how much immunity someone can build up from having the virus, or how long it may last.
Earlier this week, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that everyone in the UK who is aged five or over with Coronavirus symptoms is now eligible for a different kind of test – the swab test which checks if you currently have the virus.